How to establish credit for the first time?

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How to establish credit for the first time?

Postby monk36 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:38 pm

Hello, I am new to the forums and sought it out after realizing my current problem. I just graduated college, and have no credit whatsoever. I know that I need to establish credit for the future. Here's my problem: about a year ago, I applied for the first time for what I thought was a store card at a Banana Republic. Due to the fact that I had no credit history, or for whatever reason, I was declined in the store when my information was run through.

Fast forward a year, and I was declined by a major bank for a student credit card. Again, I have no history. No cards, no loans in my name, no missed bills. I have reviewed one of my credit reports (TransUnion) and this Banana Republic inquiry is the only thing harming me. However, since I don't have a history otherwise, it is (I think) causing me to be declined for basic lines of credit traditionally thought of as good for those building credit from scratch. My other two credit reports are on their way via mail. I do not need credit now to make purchases, but I need to start establishing credit obviously. What are some things that you all could recommend? How can I establish credit for the first time in this situation?

After some searching, I have seen many that say store cards are getting more difficult to obtain, and I certainly do not need another failed attempt on my history. I also read that it is possible for me to be put on a card as a joint user. I would be likely doing this with a parent that has good credit and pays bills on time. I would not use the card myself. If I applied for a joint account, would that depend on my history, or would the individual with good established credit be assuming that risk that causes the need for credit requirements that I would normally face? Is there any thing else that I could do?

I don't think I or my history would 'deal well with rejection' any further. Thanks

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Postby milkthatcard » Thu May 19, 2011 6:47 pm

You are smart to get going on establishing credit when you don't need it, rather than waiting until you need it and can't get it! If your parents are willing and have good credit history I would start out by having them add you to one or two of their credit accounts.

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Sat May 28, 2011 4:20 pm

Once you have a few accounts going it really shouldn't take too long, relatively speaking, to build up a respectable credit score. You won't be in the mid to high 700s but you should be able to reach 700 to 725 within a couple years, maybe sooner, since you have no blemishes like bad debt. The hardest part for non-students is establishing credit for the first time (getting a line of credit, period) and you can already check that off the list.

Aside from the ideas mentioned, I would recommend a secured card and putting up a fairly large security deposit if you can afford to do so, like $2,000 to $5,000. That way you will have a credit card on file with a respectable credit limit.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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Postby citizensoldier » Sun May 29, 2011 4:07 pm

There is something I was not aware of when I started out and that is that utilities like phone bills and power are normally not reported. Do not count on those for establishing credit because they are useless.

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